Track selection: “How Deep is the Ocean”
Harold Land is at his best on this classic ballad, holding down the classic melody in long notes while darting off at every opportunity with lightning fast figures. Jack Sheldon likewise maintains the pace, with Counce, Perkins and Butler as one.
In his liner notes, Nat Hentoff puts his finger on the significance of the Counce Group. After nearly a decade of “accompanied solo” jazz innovators (Bird, Dizzy, Miles) we find the “group” as the focus of the performance rather than the soloist. The era of small group improvisation had finally arrived.
Vinyl: LAC12133 UK 1st press Vogue Records of Contemporary C3539
“Oh Doctor”! The ecstatic go-go girl looks like artwork left over from another brief, decided after one very dry LA martini too many. Putting “girls” on record covers is usually a sign of desperation in the marketing department. “Who’s going to buy this record, guys? God knows. The “aspiring playboy bachelor” demographic? (meaning themselves). Perhaps it’s intended to be ironic, though 1957 is a little early for “retro” design. Pre-post modern, anyone?
“Nice pad. Freshen your Martini”?